15 July 2013
Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip Racing - Q&A
Our race was very much like that today after the penalty, and we spent probably two-thirds of the races running in the teens to twenties, and we knew that looking at the speed that that was not representative.
But one of the most impressive things that has happened all this season, I think in our entire sport, may have gone a little bit unnoticed. Brian did not get a chance to come to Sonoma, did not practice. Did not get one lap in. Didn't get to qualify. Flew in, dropped into the seat Sunday morning at Sonoma, and at the end of the race, we're 110 laps and the person with the most fast laps of the day was Brian Vickers.
That just doesn't happen. That shows incredible talent, shows incredible confidence in yourself and the equipment, and the communication between these two that they could do that over the phone.
So we always have confidence when he gets in the car that we can run up front and that we can compete for the win, and it's because he's a talented race car driver. Our organization is ready to win consistently, and we have won two of the last four, and so I would say if we can keep that 50 percent streak going, we'll be all right (laughing).
You kind of touched on this, I'm sure at one point, being able to race again was a huge accomplishment in and of itself. Where does winning rank in that, because I'm sure at one point you were not even sure if you might race again, but where does this win rank?
A good bit of both, just racing. I think you said it. Just to be back in a race car for me personally was a big goal and a big accomplishment and a big step. And it was because no one around me would let me give up on myself.
You know, I obviously didn't give up on myself, but when you have so much love and support around you, that makes all the difference in the world. So I've got to thank my family and friends for that through all that.
Obviously being able to win after all that is just almost unimaginable. It's so beyond what I was thinking about in that moment; just getting back into a race car was all I could think about.
But once I decided to get back in, my goal was to win a championship, and along the way hopefully win some races, and that still is my goal. I know it's a high goal, but that's why we're here. You know, I feel like for the first time in my career, and this has nothing to do with anybody else or anyone I've worked with or worked for; sometimes it's just about chemistry, and I feel like the partners and the owners and the management and the crew chief and everything I'm working with right now probably clicks as good as it ever has in my entire career.
Obviously I've grown a lot as a person through all the struggles and I've learned a lot. We all do as we grow older. We all mature. But the chemistry that I've had with Rodney for 20 years, and the chemistry that I have with everyone at MWR and Rod and Ty and Michael, the way they believe in me, sometimes more than I believe in myself, makes all the difference in the world.
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